The U.S. Treasury Department is set to allow House Republicans to inspect reports on foreign banking and other business transactions by relatives of President Joe Biden, including his son Hunter Biden and his associates.
Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer said lawmakers will begin reviewing the previously secret records this week.
“After two months of dragging their feet, the Treasury Department is finally providing us with access to the suspicious activity reports for the Biden family and their associates’ business transactions,” Comer said in a statement Tuesday.
A Treasury Department spokesman declined comment on the development. Comer first mentioned the change Monday night during an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity.
Comer also said Tuesday the committee already has bank documents that reflect one company owned by a Biden associate received a $3 million wire from a Chinese energy company two months after Biden left the vice presidency, though he did not provide the documentation.
A spokesperson for the White House had no comment.
Separately, on Monday, the committee’s top Democrat, Jamie Raskin of Maryland, released a letter he wrote to Comer Sunday that, among other things, shows that the chairman had subpoenaed Bank of America Corp. to produce “all financial records” of three Biden associates from 2009 until now.
A committee official responded that the Bank of America document subpoena spans 14 years because it includes the years Biden was vice president. The subpoena asks for records of deposits, checks, wire transfers, loan documents, electronic transfer documents and other items. These financial records likely underlie the information collected in the so-called “suspicious activity reports” being sought from Treasury, that official said.
Raskin mentioned the Bank of America subpoena in the context of blaming committee Republicans of simultaneously working with lawyers for former President Donald Trump to block disclosure of documents related to accusations that the former president was involved in financial misconduct and conflicts.
But Comer, a Kentucky Republican, has been accusing the Treasury Department of stalling. He wants the reports — which are used by banks to flag what they deem dubiously large transactions — as part of his panel’s inquiries into the Biden family’s overseas dealings.
The investigation is just one of several into the Bidens that Republicans have either started or promised since their party gained control of the House in January.
Comer, in a Jan. 11 letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, had requested all of the “suspicious activity reports” generated in connection to Hunter Biden and his associates; the president’s younger brother, James Biden; and James Biden’s wife, Sara.
The committee’s claims of department stonewalling in allowing access to those reports led Comer last week to demand a transcribed private interview with Treasury’s Assistant Secretary Jonathan Davidson under the penalty of perjury to explain why.
Davidson, in at least two letters, responded to Comer that Treasury officials were willing to work with committee staff to discuss the limits on how they could meet the demand. But without acknowledging there were any Biden-related reports, Davidson also had advised that “improper disclosure” of such information could undermine the executive branch’s “conduct of law enforcement, intelligence, and national security activities.”
The interview with Davidson is not postponed. “It should never have taken us threatening to hold a hearing and conduct a transcribed interview with an official under the penalty of perjury for Treasury to finally accommodate part of our request,” Comer said Tuesday.
He added, “We are going to continue to use bank documents and suspicious activity reports to follow the money trail to determine the extent of the Biden family’s business schemes, if Joe Biden is compromised by these deals, and if there is a national security threat.”
© 2023 Bloomberg L.P
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.